Not every NBA team with a strong regular-season record can compete in the playoffs.
The teams who routinely make noise in the postseason are the ones that are built for them—teams with superstars, veteran leadership and depth off the bench.
The following teams meet all the requirements necessary to grind through the grueling schedule that the playoffs present.
Kevin Durant has established himself as a premier scorer in the NBA, and Russell Westbrook has reached yearly All-Star status. But it appears that Serge Ibaka is also peaking at the right time, averaging 14.3 points, 8.4 boards and 2.8 blocks a game.
Kevin Martin gives them another go-to option off the bench, and Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha provide excellent defense at their respective positions.
Oklahoma City defends and scores at high levels, and it has the talent and versatility to adjust in the middle of a game depending on what the other team throws at it.
It's hard to find a weakness here. The Thunder are playing championship-caliber basketball, and they could be considered the favorites heading into the 2013 playoffs.
The Miami Heat have more star power at the top of the lineup than any team in the NBA.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are elite primary scoring options, and Miami has both of them. Even a few years after "The Decision" went down, it's still hard to wrap your head around the idea that these guys play on the same team.
With Chris Bosh playing well, Miami offers the most potent one-two-three scoring trio in the NBA.
Miami also added shooters to surround its stars with in the offseason, including Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis.
After winning a championship in 2012, Miami looks primed to get back to the NBA Finals after adding to the roster and building some depth.
The Los Angeles Clippers have a distinct advantage every time they take the court. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan can get above the rim in a way opponents can't defend, allowing for easy buckets.
When you go down the checklist of things you need to have in order to win a title, the Clippers are pretty much covered across the board.
Chris Paul gives them a superstar, and Blake Griffin gives them a co-star. The Clippers have a third option for points in Jamal Crawford, and they have depth and experience with Eric Bledsoe, Lamar Odom, Matt Barnes and Caron Butler.
This team isn't just a show. The Clippers rank third in the NBA in defensive efficiency, fourth in points given up and third in opponent field-goal percentage.
The only thing going against the Clippers is that they're young, but that didn't seem to stop the Thunder in 2012. With visible chemistry, the Clippers are a team to fear in the 2013 NBA playoffs.
Chicago's relentless defensive presence and timely rotations force teams to work hard for every point.
If you're going to beat the Bulls, you're going to have to make tough shots. It's how they can survive after losing an MVP-caliber player like Derrick Rose.
Even Rose at 80 percent makes this team dangerous in the playoffs.
The Bulls just smoked the Knicks without him, playing counterpunch basketball by getting stops on defense and turning them into points the other way.
Joakim Noah is peeking as a two-way center, Carlos Boozer is rebounding and Luol Deng is scoring. You can argue that they make up one of the toughest frontcourts in the NBA.
With Rose in the lineup, he puts Chicago in the elite class of the league. Without him, the Bulls are still pretty damn good.
With Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, the Spurs were thinking playoffs on opening night. For them, the season starts on game No. 83.
Tim Duncan is playing his best ball in years, and Parker is scoring at a higher rate than usual. A team that's often referred to as old seems to have more life in it than originally expected.
The Spurs surround their core with effective role players like as Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Boris Diaw, Tiago Splitter, Stephen Jackson and Gary Neal.
As long as Gregg Popovich is pushing the buttons and his nucleus is intact, the Spurs will remain a threat to win an NBA title.
The New York Knicks are built to win now. Do you know how long I've been waiting to say that?
Carmelo Anthony has given New York a superstar capable of putting the team on his back. They have the offensive firepower to lift them through a series and the defensive weapons to take away teams' strengths.
And for the first time, the Knicks have people in the locker room who've actually been there and done it (Marcus Camby, Jason Kidd, Kurt Thomas, Rasheed Wallace, Tyson Chandler).
The Knicks aren't a favorite, but this roster was constructed to play a lot more than just 82 games.
I know what you're thinking: The Los Angeles Lakers may not even reach the playoffs. But that doesn't mean they aren't built for the postseason in case they do happen to break into the top eight in the West.
Any team with Kobe Bryant is built for the playoffs. Steve Nash doesn't hurt either. The Lakers could throw a starting five out there that could win any talent show on Earth.
With everyone writing them off, the Lakers would be playing with house money if they do indeed make the playoffs. They'd be a bottom seed in an underdog role, and that could actually work to their advantage.
You can be sure that the Grizzlies or Spurs have no interest in facing the Lakers in the first round.
The Memphis Grizzlies' discipline and toughness will make them a really tough out in the playoffs.
Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Tony Allen might be nice guys off the court, but you wouldn't know that from watching them play. They're active, aggressive and have that "bully" mentality that separates soft from hardcore.
In terms of team balance, all they're missing is a couple of shooters. But otherwise, they have a go-to player in Rudy Gay, a secondary scorer in Randolph and one of the best team defenses in the NBA.
It may not have the stones to beat the Thunder, but Memphis should make any team sweat through a seven-game series.